A friend recently coined a phrase when describing the attendees of the wedding of two mountain guides - many were wearing "formal outdoor gear." Most brands have branched-out into smart/casual lifestyle clothing, and the Durban boots fit perfectly into the niche category of mountain-guide-wedding-wear.
Full grain leather, an EVA outsole and a comfortable PU Sockliner combine to give this boot the high quality features that justify its price tag. In fact the leather is incredibly beautiful and the stylish design is befitting of the source material.
Is there any good reason to buy 'smart' shoes from an outdoor brand, rather than just a high street shop? Well, yes. Smart shoes seem generally to be all about style over substance, and comfort is often way down the list of priorities. Not so with the Durban Tall boots, which have a forgiving sole for all day wear, and soft leather to allow easy movement. The side zipper for easy on/off is also a convenient addition (although not so "rugged"!)
The construction is as high quality as you'd expect from a brand backed up with so much footwear-making heritage.
The downside is that where "rugged meets casual" it is casual that comes out on top. The sole unit has no tread to speak of, and appears designed for pavement-pounding and bar-propping, rather than anything a work boot might require. And the leather is so pretty that every little scrape is too much to bear.
Apparently "rugged" applies only to the style in this case, and in fairness the Durban has style to spare.
Considering the high street would likely charge the same price for a nice pair of boots in a similarly high quality leather, the Teva option - with all the implied experience and heritage in boot making - seems very good value.